Anatolian Shepherd


This large mastiff-type breed originated in Turkey where it was used primarily as a guardian of flocks. When first recognized in the United Kingdom, the breed was known as the Anatolian Karabash, a move that proved controversial with some breeders who claim that the Karabash, a fawn dog with black points, is the only true Anatolian Shepherd and that dogs of other colors are not pure. The Anatolian is a steady and bold dog that should not be aggressive. It is as well, however, to respect its guarding origins and appreciate these when considering ownership.


The coat is short and dense with a thick undercoat and so requires minimal grooming – a weekly thorough brushing is usually sufficient. Like all working breeds of this size, these active dogs need a lot of exercise and also mental stimulation to avoid boredom. It will live happily with humans but will do better in an outdoor situation than in a town house.

The Anatolian has a large skull, broad and flat between the ears, and males have a noticeably wider head than females. The muzzle should be one-third the total length, and the lips are giving a square profile. The nose, lips and eye rims should be black.

The Anatolian’s body should be balanced and indicate power and strength; its movement should be supple and powerful. Typical of the breed is the low head carriage which shows the head, neck and topline being level when moving, creating an impression that the dog is stalking. The Anatolian Shepherd Dog should stand between 28-32 inches/71-81 cm at the shoulder and can weigh in excess of 140 pounds/63.5 kg.


The Anatolian Shepherd combines seriousness that comes from recognizing his protection duties and playfulness inherent to his animal nature. Amiable and laid-back with his family, especially with kids, he can be suspicious of strangers and tends to go into loud barking when something arouses or alerts him. Anatolian Shepherds have a great sense of property and don’t like to share their territory with other dogs. They always keep an eye on everything that’s happening around to eliminate any threat to their family once the enemy reveals himself.

General care

Although this is a shepherd dog whose need for motion is smaller than that of hunting dogs, long walks and short sprints are vitally important to keep the Anatolian Shepherd fit and happy. He requires minimal coat care that consists only of weekly brushing.

Gallery of Anatolian Shepherd